She was one of the most beloved faces on Home and Away in the 2000s, but Australian actress Tammin Sursok was suffering a devastating eating disorder behind the scenes of Summer Bay.
Returning to Australia this week with her family, the now 35-year-old actress reflected on how she recovered from her illness and “trying to be perfect”, something she was driven to achieve after being bullied as a child because she was overweight.
“For me, I hit 25 years old. I just wanted to stop feeling sick,” she told Richard Wilkins and Brooke Boney on Today Extra this morning.
“I just didn't want to have a life any more of struggle. People have to go through a lot of therapy for that. For me I wanted to stop, I choose happiness. It was scary for me to actually say it,” she continued.
“The minute I said it out loud I felt freedom. So it was a long time, it was through the Home and Away days. It isn't easy being on television and trying to be perfect. I think we all struggle with that idea of perfectionism.”
Earlier this year Tammin took to Instagram to speak about her experience with having an eating disorder in the past.
“This was the height of my eating disorder. That day I had eaten half a pack of rice thins and 5 cups of coffee. That's what I had lived on for almost 6 months prior,” she wrote.
"I remember how sad I felt. Ha. Pictures lie, don't they? I was dying to be perfect. The illusion of perfection that one cannot attain.
"For perfection is a road that never reaches a destination. I was not well for 8 years. 15yrs old - 23 years old. 8 years of torture I put myself through to remain slim after I had been tormented as an overweight kid.
"For I feared that if I went back to that then the emotional pain would be worse than the physical one I was putting myself through."
The Pretty Little Liars star is now happy and healthy, based in the US with husband Sean McEwen and children, Phoenix, five, and Lennon, born in January this year.
For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/ on 1800 33 4673.
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